Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, September 27, 1891

     Did not see W. at all today. Got in Philadelphia and not back till late. Wallace's letter of 22nd dwells upon duties to me in my service for W. Loving and uplifting. And some further account of the London experiences (a Paradise, Earthly, etc.). Bucke's letter of 24th goes over much ground, of interest to W. and to me. W. was moved yesterday to speak of its "cordial good counsel." Sends me Lucretius again. I had lost. Should he rewrite his Bolton speech? Symonds' poem there, calls it "good stuff."

     In letter of 24th J.W.W. explains how Greenhalgh came (by Bucke's advice) to write me and send the "worship" letter. Also gives me program of his eastward trip and extract from a letter sent to England descriptive of Niagara. On 26th writes, describing Greenhalgh, undoubtedly a rich, royal, plain fellow, not given to ornate word or act. Johnston's English letter (15th), part of it before and part written after word of J.W.W.'s arrival, very warm, almost a rhapsodic touch:
54 Manchester Road
Bolton, England
Sept 15th, 1891

My Dear Comrade

I have now to acknowledge & thank you for two of your characteristically kind & paternal letters re Wallace's anticipated arrival at Camden wh. by this time is a fait accomplet.

Often & often have I pictured & imagined the splendid time you have all been privileged to participate in during the past week & am now longing & straining my ears to catch some stray echoes of your unique symposium. And what a meeting of notable Whitmanians:

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Bucke, Traubel, Mrs. O'Connor, Wallace! All in the house of the grand old man himself or at least within a very little distance! Truly a memorable gathering worthy of more than a passing thought or word. Oh for a phonographic record of your interesting talk! But we shall ere long receive J.W.W.'s impressions & reflections & these we shall prize.



Sept 16th 2 P.M.


I have just received a bundle of stuff by the mail—a letter from Walt, one from Warry, one from Wallace & the latter's "Diary of Voyage of America"—all of wh. I have devoured like a boy eating strawberries & cream. Oh it has been a delicious feast. Now we know something of Wallace's doings among you, but, like Oliver Twist, we are already eagerly clamouring for more! Like the horse leech we cry Give! Give! Ours is an insatiable appetite. We shall have some of your impressions & perhaps his by next mail.

My mind is in too great a whirl to write any more at present. I know it is a poor return for yr splendid letters—wh. are read at every meeting of the "Church" & greatly enjoyed—but I know you will understand & take the will for the deed.

I am off to Scotland, to my Home (Annan) in a few days for a short visit to my good dear old Father & Mother.

My love to your dear wife & yourself!

Yours ever

Johnston



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